Sun, Jun 01, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Amnesty says nation must still improve human rights

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Asked about recent public calls for capital punishment for Cheng Chieh (鄭捷), the suspect in the deaths of four people in a knife attack that also wounded 24 on Taipei’s Mass Rapid Transit system last month, Shetty said that while AI members would stand in sympathy and solidarity with victims and their families, “we do not support the death penalty.”

“When we started the anti-death-penalty campaign three decades ago, there were only 30 countries without the death penalty. Now, there are only about 30 countries that still have it,” he said. “Research shows that the death penalty has nothing to do with the crime rate. In fact, the crime rate has fallen in many countries where the death penalty was abolished.”

“The question to ask is why the government is unable to prevent the crime in the first place,” he added.

Shetty also urged Taiwanese to show more concern about human rights violations in China.

“Taiwan has geographical proximity to China, which has grown economically, but does not respect human rights,” he said. “Taiwan shows the contrast: You have economic growth with human rights protection.”

“However, if you want to sustain economic growth and social stability, you need to have more freedom,” Shetty said.

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